World Junior Curling Championships return to Russia

Returning Korea skip, Minji Kim © WCF / Rachel MacRae

The World Junior Curling Championships will be staged in Russia for the second time, when action starts at the Crystal Ice Arena in Krasnoyarsk, Russia, on Saturday 15 February 2020.

Previously, the 2013 world juniors took place in Sochi, a championship that doubled up as a test event for the 2014 Olympic Winter Games.

The Siberian city made its debut as host of an international curling event in March 2019 when it held the Winter Universiade Games. However, the Crystal Ice Arena is going to welcome curlers for the first time as, during the university games, ice hockey was played there.

A total of 20 teams will compete at the event – ten from each gender – representing 15 of the World Curling Federation’s 64 Member Associations.

The full list of participating teams is:

Women:

Host (and defending champions): Russia

Qualified from World Junior Curling Championships 2019 (in qualification order):  Canada, Switzerland, Korea, Sweden and Norway

Qualified from World Junior-B Curling Championships 2019 (in qualification order); Japan, Latvia, Denmark and Hungary.

Among these teams:

  • Latvia will make a historic first appearance at the World Juniors.
  • Hungary will be making only a third appearance at this level.
  • Three skips return for a third appearance – defending champion Vlada Rumiantseva from Russia, Korea’s Minji Kim and Maia Ramsfjell of Norway.
  • Karlee Burgess, third player for Canada, will also be making a third World Junior appearance.

Men:

Host: Russia

Qualified from World Junior Championships 2019 (in qualification order): Canada (defending champions), Switzerland, Scotland, Norway, United States and New Zealand

Qualified from World Junior-B 2019: Sweden, Italy and Germany.

Among these teams:

  • For United States, this will be Luc Violette’s fifth World Juniors, but first in the skip role. He was 14 years old when he first played in this event, in 2014, in Flims, Switzerland.
  • Jacques Gauthier, skip for defending champions Canada, is cousin to Tyler Tardi, who skipped Canada to victory last year and in 2018.
  • Germany’s skip Sixten Totzek makes a third appearance, looking to improve on last year’s seventh place.
  • New Zealand, skipped again by Matt Neilson, will be making a second appearance at this level.

This will be the 45th edition of the World Junior Curling Championships, and to be eligible to compete, “a player must be less than 21 years of age by the end of the 30th day of June of the year immediately preceding the year in which the championship is to take place”.

Competition begins on Saturday 15 February with the first of 18 sessions of round-robin play that will determine the top-four rankings in both championships. After this both women’s and men’s semi-finals will take place on Friday 21 February, with the medal games being staged on Saturday 22 February.

At the conclusion of the event, the top six teams and China, as the host for the World Junior Curling Championships 2021, will qualify for next year’s event. The 2021 edition will be played in Beijing’s Ice Cube and is the test event for the 2022 Olympic Winter Games.

In addition to the awarding of gold, silver and bronze medals, every year all the players vote in the women’s and men’s Sportsmanship Awards, for the player of their own gender who best exemplifies the Spirit of Curling. Last year, among the women, Sweden lead, Maria Larsson, was voted the winner, while Germany’s second player, Joshua Sutor, gained this accolade among the men.

The championships will be broadcast live on World Curling TV’s YouTube channel with no geo-restrictions and will feature 12 round-robin games split between both competitions. A women’s and men’s semi-final and both gold medal games will feature from the play-off stages. For full broadcast details visit the event website.

All times are Krasnoyarsk Time, which is seven (+7) hours ahead of Universal Coordinated Time.

Follow all the action from the World Junior Curling Championships by following the World Curling Federation on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and Weibo. Search: #WJCC2020 #curling

Krasnoyarsk, Russia

10 February 2020